Sunday, 31 August 2008


I got into Sussex, I got 3A's and a B in my A-levels, I'm going to be studying English Lit in a good university, in the same town as 3 of my very best friends, near enough to London and to Simon so I shouldn't feel lost whilst still being able to feel independent, so why aren't I excited?

Well, partly it's that I'm studying English, not film, and even though i know it's the logical choice, there is still a voice in the back of may head saying things like "the youngest director to win the best director Oscar was 23, you won't even have scratched the surface of your post-grad in film by then" and "in 3 years Sofia Coppola could easily write and direct a film making her the first woman to win the prize." Of course i know that these are stupid, idiotic thoughts, and that the chances of me ever achieving that status are slimmer than slim, but it still gets to me. I read a quote by an Olympic athlete the other day, basically saying that "if people look at the
odds of winning, they wouldn't bother to compete, but someone has to win, so why not me?"
So why not me?

Then all the other insecurities start rolling in, how I'm dreadful at reading and analyzing poetry, how the texts that I'm interested in studying are not exactly broad, and what if I'm not smart or dedicated enough to succeed? Blah blah, usual insecure teenage bullshit which i can't escape, even if i try. Again, i know just how stupid it is, but it doesn't dampen the effect it has on my spirit.

Also in my brain is a thought which is pretty well summed up by a postsecret submitted this week:

Now obviously my graduating class didn't have nearly as many people in it, but that almost makes it more intense. Coming from Frensham, which is such a tiny, close knit school (however much we may mock Andrew, it is a community) and going to Sussex, where my year group will be larger than the entirety of Frensham, nursery to Sixth Form, is kind of daunting. Obviously the same insecurities everyone has are there, what if i don't make friends, what if no-one likes me, what if i'm the stinky kid in class that everyone else secretly, and not so secretly, make fun of?

Bleugh, i'm being a child and i need to get over it.
just thought i'd share.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Poem, affirmation

I came across this poem while i was geeking out on, a really cool site which has recordings of poets reading their poems, including Ginsberg reading Howl and Eliot reading the first poem he ever got published.
I loved this poem when i read it, but the poet reading it changed the meaning and i liked it less, so instead of posting the link and exposing you to that, i'm just copying the poem, so you can make up your own mind about how it should be read. Enjoy.

What Women Want

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

Kim Addonizio

I definately know the feeling she's talking about. What do you think?

826 and San Francisco

I've been in San Francisco for almost a month now, and I'm having a great time. Monday to Thursday I volunteer between 10 and 3 at 826 Valencia, a non-profit writing workshop and San Francisco's only independent pirate supply store, tutoring kids between the ages of around 6-10. It's hard work but very rewarding, and often hilarious (my favourite incident so far was when Priscilla, an adorable but irrepressible 7 year old told me that the pen she was colouring with "smelled like shit." Genius!).

I've also been exploring the city when i get the chance, as well as wandering around Berkley, and as usual, it's the little differences that make the place so interesting. While it is far from my first, and hopefully very far from my last time coming here, I'm still surprised by people's willingness to speak to other people on the street, something which almost never happens back home in the UK.

I haven't been able to see everyone I wanted to during my stay; Bryce, a friend from 4 years ago who i was planning on meeting up with, is helping his parents move house to North Carolina, so no happy reunion, and Elizabeth, another friend from Aim High, is busy doing her final piece of teacher training before become Miss Colen to a group of 5 year olds come September! But I'm meeting new people and hanging out with old friends, so I'm not too devastatingly lonely.

All in all I've been having a great time, eating good food and not drinking (damn laws!) and making lots of new literary friends. I met Dave Eggers after a discussion of a book he helped to edit, and was surrounded by people who were just as excited by that as I was, again something that probably wouldn't happen in the UK!